Newsletter #2 – 29 September 2016
Since the last newsletter a lot has happened. Unfortunately, none of it has happened within cooee of Hill Street… well, except what we’ve been up to…
WHILE YOU’VE BEEN WAITING…
Auckland Council’s Development Committee, Auckland Transport, and the NZTA have been strategizing about TFUG. No, that isn’t an expletive but an acronym for “Transport for Future Urban Growth.” When you see what they are planning, you will be using an array of expletives.
Attached is the memorandum from their 13 September meeting. Check out what is proposed for Warkworth (near the back of the memo.) In addition to the Southern Growth Cell, they’ve added even more future growth areas between the Tollway and the Western Collector “as a result of Council decisions on the Unitary Plan.”
Just a glimpse at the areas rezoned, two things are apparent. First, as there is no connection between south Warkworth and the Tollway, all that additional traffic will either use State Highway 1 south or north through Warkworth. By NZTA’s estimates, 49% of Tollway traffic will turn south towards Hill Street.
Secondly, there is no mention of any improvements to Hill Street. We have needed to revise our traffic projections for Hill Street and it isn’t looking pretty.
WHILE OTHERS WERE WAITING…
Talking about looking pretty, two of our team finished a meeting with a TV crew, had some time to kill so went to Hill Street. Bedazzled by the glare of 20+ people in high viz jackets at Kowhai Park, they thought all their Christmases had come at once. Even a surveyor’s theodolite looked promising.
While one held his nose at the public toilets, the other took a nosey at the ensemble of engineers. The surveyor was taking levels for some improvements to Kowhai Park. The 20+ engineers didn’t give the Hill Street congestion any attention. One engineer, however, saw our team member and pointed to the flash “Ara Tūhono” logo on their chest.
They might as well be wearing a Wallabies jersey.
They did, however, take notice of Hill Street. Their convoy was stuck at the intersection for four traffic light cycles.
Our art department suggested this:
Talking about unexplained phenomena, if you see any objects in the sky near the Hill Street intersection over the next month, don’t be alarmed. We have a drone filming the intersection during typical days and comparing it with Labour Weekend traffic. We’ll get a bird’s eye view of the problem.
DUCKS IN A ROW
Talking about birds, the purpose of our campaign is to ensure that NZTA and Auckland Transport get their ducks in a row. Fixing Hill Street should be a priority for decision makers and engineers because the order that several projects are implemented can compound a problem or create synergies. So far, instead of improving one of the Warkworth’s four urban State Highway 1 intersections, they propose building a further four intersections.
Several of our team have seen this before elsewhere in the country.
Talking about priorities (That’s my last segue, I promise), the